November 4, 2017
Fog happens when a cloud goes to ground.
We say our thoughts are cloudy sometimes. We say we have “brain fog.”
Sometimes our memories are foggy or clouded.
Sometimes that's a wonnnnnnderful thing!
Sometimes it's even MORE wonderful when our SPOUSE'S memory is a little foggy.
There's a story about a young Catholic priest in a big city who kept confession-shopping because he had committed a really big sin... and he didn't believe God could forgive him in just one confession.
Finally he went to a confessor who was thought to be really close to God. He says to this priest that he is really, really really sorry... and he just wants God to let him know that some way, some how, God eventually can forgive him.
“I'll ask Him,” says the confessor.
It's silent for a while. An uncomfortable while. Finally the young priest says, “Did you ask Him?”
“Well, what did He say?”
“He says, my son...He says...”What sin? I don't remember that sin. I must have forgiven it already. Try as I might, I just don't remember it.”
The Cloud had its origins in 1977 and 1981... and I think I first heard of it in 2015 or 2016. I don't think I can explain all the details of what it is about, and it appears there are several Clouds. I'm so intimidated by technobabble that I will just refer you to the links below to get all the details.
What fear causes is magical thinking. Upon first hearing about The Cloud, I actually believed there was a real, cloudlike CLOUD somewhere... and the geeks had discovered a way to beam information to it and make the information stick there. (It's not THAT ridiculous; we bounce phone signals off cell phone towers, right?-- and we send television signals through thin air. We can destroy gallstones with sound waves. We can cook things with light.)
SOOOOOO, imagine my confusion (and secret delight) when I learned that The Cloud is like ME, and lives in an ordinary building (well, several buildings-- Google alone has “cloud locations” spread all around the globe) and is mostly comprised of stacks of little black boxes piled up from floor to ceiling. Like shoeboxes in your bedroom that are full of receipts.
The X-file angle is that your Facebook photo, for example, doesn't stay on a particular chip, but can move around AMONG computers.
Thank goodness the receipts in my shoe boxes can't do that.
I THINK they can't do that.
Your wee unit of information, such as your Facebook photo, is usually stored on more than one storage server in The Cloud. Just in case. And your GROUP of information isn't stored together. Of course.
And there are public servers and private servers, to make life more interesting for the hackers.
Which is why your Facebook photo doesn't end up on federal subpoenas or election ballots.